The NZ Transport Agency today announced that it is to call tenders to build the Waterview Connection, the biggest and most complex roading project ever in New Zealand.
The 4.5km long Waterview Connection, linking the Southwestern motorway (SH20) with the Northwestern motorway (SH16), includes two 3-lane tunnels for 2.5kms of the route.
NZTA chief executive Geoff Dangerfield says the Transport Agency is up to the challenge of delivering a project of this size.
“This is hugely exciting news for Auckland and for New Zealand,” he says. “A project of this scale is a first for New Zealand, and it will deliver many, many benefits for the country and the region.”
“This is an ideal time to tender as the current economic conditions enable us to get the best market prices. It confirms our commitment to deliver the project as quickly as possible and with the best value for money,” Mr Dangerfield adds.
Calling tenders for Waterview Connection works follows a decision by the NZTA’s Board to approve funding of up to $2bn to complete Auckland’s Western Ring Route road of national significance.
Mr Dangerfield says a project of this scale will attract international interest and could create over 1,000 jobs in construction-related activities at the peak of activity.
The NZTA will run the tender process in parallel with its application for statutory approvals, through the new national consenting process.
“Running the two in parallel will save us up to a year in the construction timetable as well as offer significant savings on the overall cost of the project,” says Mr Dangerfield.
Mr Dangerfield adds that no construction on the Waterview Connection will start until all the necessary consents and approvals are in place.
The NZTA will lodge its route designation and resource consent applications with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in mid-August.
“We are continuing to give the community certainty as this project develops,” says Mr Dangerfield. “We are determined to work closely with them, and with local authorities and other stakeholders through the EPA process to address issues and concerns related to open space replacement, air quality, and construction impacts such as noise, traffic and dust.
Completing the Western Ring Route is one of the Government's seven Roads of National Significance Projects to support and enable economic growth for the country. It involves extending State Highway 20 to link with the Northwestern motorway (SH16) at the Great North Road interchange, together with capacity improvements along the Northwestern motorway from St Lukes interchange to Westgate.
Once completed, the Western Ring Route will provide a 48km alternative to SH1 and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It will reduce congestion and provide more reliable travel times for both freight and people.
For more information on the tender process, or other aspects of the project visit: www.waterviewconnection.co.nz